Do you just love to have some fresh garlic on your pasta? Well, that’s good! Fresh garlic is much more beneficial for your heart than dried garlic, a study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found. There is a chemical released when fresh garlic is cut, called hydrogen sulfide, which relaxes blood vessels. Garlic is commonly used to help treat hardening of the arteries, high cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Some people also use it to help prevent colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, and breast cancer.
The compounds in garlic break down easily due to heating or being cut. A study in Japan compared garlic preserved in water, alcohol, vegetable oil and fresh garlic. They were measuring a compound known was allicin, which is garlic’s main active ingredient and what gives garlic its strong smell. They found that allicin dissipates quickly once garlic is cut. Scientists believe that allicin has antibacterial properties that may help prevent food poisoning and bacterial infections. Allicin may also help prevent blood clots and certain cancers. Even though allicin breaks down quickly, scientists believe that the compounds it breaks into may still be beneficial. So get out your garlic crusher and mince away!
I am a Duke Integrative Medicine trained Health Coach located in Charlotte, NC. I hold a B.S. and M.A. in Wellness Management. I have a passion for health and for helping others achieve the healthy life they desire.